Tag Archives: children and divorce

Planning Your Divorce Conversation with Your ChildrenTelling your children about your divorce will be as difficult of a conversation for you as when you and your spouse first discussed divorce. Both are stressful and emotional, but your conversation with your children may be more upsetting for you depending on their reaction. Just as with your spouse, it will help to plan your conversation with your children. This will be a traumatic milestone in their lives, and you should avoid thoughtless mistakes that will make the experience worse than it needs to be.

Timing

You should tell your children about your divorce soon after you have made your decision, but a slight delay may be necessary to find an optimal time and place. Ideally, the conversation should:

  • Include both parents and all of your children together; and
  • Take place when none of you have any immediate responsibilities afterward, such as the beginning of a weekend.

Talking to your children together allows you to present a unified message about the divorce. Having all your children present avoids the appearance that you are favoring one of your children by telling him or her first. The conversation will be upsetting and distracting to your children. They will need time to process the news and continue to ask you questions.

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How Toddlers Can React to Parents' DivorceChildren often experience the least amount of trauma from their parents’ divorce when it occurs before they are old enough to form memories. There will eventually be sadness and questions when they realize that a two-parent household is considered normal, but they do not grasp the immediate split between their parents. However, children become capable of noticing their parents’ divorce at a younger age than parents may expect. By age 2, children can start to create memories, some of which may be traumatic if they involve divorce.

Emotional Sensitivity

Toddlers are incapable of understanding a verbal explanation as to what a divorce is and why it happens. However, they can pick up on changes in their environment, such as:

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Attending Events with Your Co-Parent After DivorceDivorced parents often cannot avoid each other due to their shared responsibilities to their children. Many encounters can be brief, avoiding uncomfortable tensions and possible conflicts. However, there are child-related events that the parents are expected to both attend and remain in close proximity to each other for extended periods. These events may include:

  • Sports competitions;
  • School concerts;
  • Parent-teacher conferences; and
  • Awards ceremonies.

Both parents likely want to attend these events because they are important moments in their children’s lives. The children are also hoping to see both parents at the event. Divorced parents should try to peacefully interact with each other when attending their children’s events.

Being Together

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Your Child's Pediatrician Should Know About Your DivorcePeople going through a divorce can be reluctant to tell casual acquaintances about it. The process is personal and not something they want to share with everyone they meet. However, there are people outside of your friends and family who need to know about the divorce. One such person is your child’s pediatrician. The emotional impact of your divorce can cause developmental and behavioral maladies in children. A pediatrician may be able to help your children, but he or she needs to know that the divorce may be causing the problems. Keeping your pediatrician informed of your child’s life circumstances may help prevent some of the struggles your child will go through during the divorce.

Effects of Divorce

Children feel emotional pain when their parents divorce or separate, regardless of their age or how amicable the divorce is. Feelings of abandonment, anger and self-blame can become emotional scars that last for years. Depending on the child’s age, the emotional effects of divorce on children can manifest as:

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Lessons Your Children Learn from Your DivorceThere is no denying that divorce is a negative experience for your children. You can rationalize how your children will be better off because of the divorce. From their perspective, they have witnessed the end of a relationship that defines their lives and are faced with uncertainties about their futures. However, divorce can have both a positive and negative effect on your children. They may not see any immediate benefits, but the experience can teach lessons that help them become better adults.

Healthy Relationships

Your marriage has a great influence on how your children will view and treat their own relationships. By witnessing your unhealthy marriage, they may unwittingly pick up your bad habits and make the same relationship mistakes that you did. The first lesson your divorce teaches is that your marriage was not a healthy relationship and that it is appropriate to end a relationship that makes you miserable. However, you also need to demonstrate a healthy relationship if you do not want them to repeat your mistakes. In interacting with your former spouse and potential new romantic partner, show that a relationship requires:

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Goostree Law Group

Goostree Law Group

 555 S. Randall Road, Suite 200
St. Charles, IL 60174

 630-584-4800

 1770 Park Street, Suite 205
Naperville IL 60563

 630-364-4046

 400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 300
Wheaton, IL 60187

 630-407-1777

Our Illinois divorce attorneys represent clients in Kane County, DuPage County, Kendall County and DeKalb County, including Geneva, Batavia, St.Charles, Wayne, Wasco, Elburn, Virgil, Lily Lake, Aurora, North Aurora, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Crystal Lake, Gilberts, Millcreek, Maple Park, Kaneville, LaFox, Yorkville, Oswego, Plano, Sugar Grove, Big Rock, Bristol, Newark, DeKalb, Sycamore, Naperville, Wheaton, West Chicago, Winfield, Warrenville, Downers Grove, Lombard, Oak Brook, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, South Barrington, Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Big Grove, Boulder Hill, Bristol, Joliet, Kendall, Lisbon, Minooka, Montgomery, Plainfield, Sandwich, Yorkville and many other cities.

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